‘Chef with no name’ triumphs in BBC cooking series
London chef James Cochran has reached the Great British Menu banquet in its NHS series. The owner of 1251 in Islington fended off stiff competition with his “cep-tional” starter which includes cep brioche, a cep custard cylinder, savoury soil and a truffle mayonnaise. Cochran’s restaurant — recently acclaimed by Jay Rayner — has been overshadowed by a row with his former employers, who hold trademark on his own name. Rayuela is licensing his former recipes with connections to his Great British Menu appearance, despite the chef having no association with the company nor the licensing plan.
Acclaimed Marylebone chef launches samosa sisterhood
Ravinder Bhogal of Marylebone’s Jikoni is celebrating the restaurant’s second birthday with a brunch party in support of The Women & Girls Network. Bhogal will be joined in the kitchen by Anna Hansen MBE (The Modern Pantry,) Lily Jones (Lily Vanilli,) and Sabrina Ghayour (Persiana, Sirocco and Feasts) each making a special samosa for the occasion. The event will run in 90 minute sittings, with all proceeds going to the network, which supports women and girls who have experienced, or are at risk of experiencing violence. Tickets available here.
Soho’s Venetian gem gets a new lease of life
Polpetto — Russell Norman and Richard Beatty’s Polpo testing ground and sister restaurant, has been fully refurbished. Anthea Stephenson, formerly of the The River Cafe & The Ledbury, is now at the helm, with a focus on seasonal Italian food. Red mullet carpaccio with shaved fennel and chilli, and a venetian rib chop with marrow, borlotti and cicoria will feature heavily, according to Hot Dinners.
Brewdog launches franchises to further leaven brand responsibility
Fresh off the “free beer for Trump supporters” fiasco, tiresome brewery Brewdog has announced their plans to open a series of franchises with their “Equity for Punks” shareholders. The initial trial will potentially include Ayr, North Berwick, Oban, Kirkwall, St Ives, Swansea, Northampton, Huddersfield, Newquay & Stoke on Trent.
Maison du Mezze finds a new home
London’s appetite for middle eastern food shows no sign of waning with a new branch of Maison du Mezze just announced. The Lebanese restaurant is opening a 3rd branch at 151 Wardour Street, according to Big Hospitality.